Spiced Truffles

SpicedTruffles_plated.jpgThis savory and spiced truffle (sweetened by dates and toasted coconut) has great flavor and texture with added protein from walnuts and the spicy toasted quinoa. Everyone loves a treat but then there’s the issue of how to have only a few bites that don’t lead you down the road to subsequent days of sugar cravings. Our spiced truffle is an excellent solution–rich, dense, and flavorful with the allspice berries, and the recipe is very proportioned, making about 12 one-inch delights. They are perfect for a dinner party, and extras can be stored in the refrigerator, frozen, or given to guests at the door.
Turn oven to 350 degrees.
Cook 1 cup of red quinoa in water on stove according to directions and allow to cool. You will wind up with about 2 cups once its done.

Toast 2 cups of shaved coconut flakes in the oven, spreading out on a sheet pan lined with parchment and watching continuously. It takes bout 3-6 minutes at 350 degrees. Give the flakes a shake part way through so they brown uniformly. Pour into a bowl and set aside.


SpicedTruffles_spicesSet the parchment back on the sheet pan and spread the cooked quinoa on top, following the directions for toasted quinoa crumbles but switching out the smoked paprika with a higher heat chili spice to taste. You can use chili powder (1-2 tsp), cayenne (1/2 tsp) or a mixed pepper spice (I used 2 tsp of the Libyan spice blend “Pilpelchuma” sold as part of a 4-pack of “World Spices” from Trader Joe’s). Also add about 1 tsp salt to the quinoa before toasting, mixed in with the spice. One cup of uncooked red quinoa will yield about 2 cups cooked. Save any extra toasted quinoa for adding to salads, vegetables or eggs. Store refrigerated in a sealed container.

Pit the dates and place in a food processor.

If you are adding fresh curry leaves, heat 1/2- 1 teaspoon of oil (I used coconut) in a pan on medium heat and add 5-10 fresh curry leaves. Sautée for about 2-3 minutes moving leaves around until they begin to crisp up. Curry leaves cause oil to splatter a bit so be prepared to use a shield or lower heat. Remove leaves from pan and chop very finely, adding them to the date mixture. Five to six finely chopped leaves will yield about 1/2 tsp of curry leaves. Use up to 10 leaves and 1 tsp for this recipe.

Add the walnuts to the food processor along with the vanilla and pulse with the on-off method until the dates and walnuts (and optional curry leaves) are combined.
Next, add the toasted coconut and continue to combine, eventually running the food processor continuously until a large ball has formed.
Remove from food processor and divide into 12-14 evenly-sized round balls then set aside while you make the crumble.
For the crumble: Toast 2 generous tablespoons of allspice berries in a pan on medium heat for several minutes then grind finely in a spice or coffee grinders.
Give the food processor a rinse and a good dry then add the coconut, ground allspice, and quinoa crumbles and very use on off pulse method a few times to combine–not too coarse and not too fine. Pour into a bowl and roll the truffle balls in the crumble pushing down so the crumble attaches.
These will last for a good week. Store in the refrigerator and bring out to room temperature several hours before serving. Add more crumble if necessary after refrigeration.

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